Sir Denis Blundell
GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QSO
12th Governor-General of New Zealand In office
27 September 1972 – 5 October 1977
Prime Minister Jack Marshall (1972)
Norman Kirk (1972–1974)
Bill Rowling (1974–1975)
Robert Muldoon (1975–1977)
Preceded by Sir Arthur Porritt Succeeded by Sir Keith Holyoake Personal details Born 29 May 1907
Wellington, New Zealand
Died 24 September 1984(aged 77)
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Nationality New Zealand Spouse(s) June Halligan, ONZ QSO GCStJ Profession Lawyer, Diplomat Military service Allegiance New Zealand Army Service/branch 2 NZEF Years of service 1939–1944 Rank Lieutenant-Colonel Battles/wars World War II
Early life and family
Denis attended Waitaki Boys' High School and Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He studied law and was called to the Bar in England in 1929. He did not practise in England however, and returned to New Zealand in 1930, practising as barrister and solicitor in Wellington. He was a partner in the Wellington law firm of Bell Gully from 1936 to 1968. During World War II he was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 2 NZEF, from 1939 to 1944.
He was President of the Wellington District Law Society in 1951, President of the New Zealand Law Society for six years (1962–1968) and Vice-President of the Law Society of Asia and the Pacific 1966.
He married June Halligan in 1945; they had a son and a daughter.
Sir Denis was appointed by Prime Minister Keith Holyoake as High Commissioner for New Zealand in Britain and Ambassador to Ireland in 1968. In 1972 he returned to New Zealand.
Blundell was appointed in 1972 by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of her Prime Minister Jack Marshall to the office of Governor-General of New Zealand. Leader of the Opposition, Norman Kirk did not support the appointment, because of Sir Denis' friendship with the Prime Minister. At his swearing-in ceremony, the Prime Minister referred to Sir Denis as "a close personal friend over many years in the law, in the battle of the EEC and in many a battle on the golf-course". Blundell was the first New Zealand-born and resident Governor-General, and his appointment prompted David Lange to say "it sort of made us somehow mortal. A man who was a lawyer and the son of a newspaper publisher could become the Queen in drag."
Blundell was the first Governor-General to appear on the electoral roll, for the 1972 general election, although it is unclear if he voted (under New Zealand electoral law a citizen is only required to register to vote). In office, Blundell dispensed with the traditional plumed helmet, stating "I'd feel an awful Joe underneath one of those hats." Instead, he wore a plain uniform, and usually only for visits to military bases.
His term ended in 1977.
Sir Denis Blundell died in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, in 1984; he was survived by his wife and children.
- ^ "BLUNDELL, Henry Percy Fabian". Te Ara. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/blundell-henry-percy-fabian/1.
- ^ CricInfo profile
- ^ Margaret Hayward (1981). Diary of the Kirk Years. AH & AW Reed.
- ^ a b c Gavin McLean (November 2006). The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General. Dunedin: Otago University Press. ISBN 1877372850.
- ^ "Sir Denis Blundell". NZ History Online. 6 June 2007. http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/sir-denis-blundell.
- The Story of Bell Gully Buddle Weir by Julia Millen (1990, Bell Gully) ISBN 1-86934-026-4
Government offices Preceded by
Sir Arthur Porritt
Governor-General of New Zealand
Sir Keith Holyoake
Governors and Governors-General of New Zealand
William Hobson* · Robert FitzRoy* · George Grey* · Thomas Gore Browne* · George Bowen* · Sir James Fergusson, Bt* · The Marquess of Normanby* · Hercules Robinson* · Arthur Hamilton-Gordon* · William Jervois* · The Earl of Onslow* · The Earl of Glasgow* · The Earl of Ranfurly* · The Lord Plunket* · The Lord Islington* · The Earl of Liverpool* · The Viscount Jellicoe · Sir Charles Fergusson, Bt · The Viscount Bledisloe · The Viscount Galway · Sir Cyril Newall · The Lord Freyberg · The Lord Norrie · The Viscount Cobham · Bernard Fergusson · Arthur Porritt · Denis Blundell · Keith Holyoake · David Beattie · Paul Reeves · Catherine Tizard · Michael Hardie Boys · Silvia Cartwright · Anand Satyanand · Jerry Mateparae
* Held office of Governor of New Zealand.
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